Fulham is from England after all....

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by FFC24, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Since this site has some people from England on it, let's ask them about their evil scary healthcare. I think it'd nice to hear things from their perspective.

    God I hope we have leftist people from England on here. No Grandma got killed by the Queen!
  2. sullytex

    sullytex Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Houston, TX
    My experience/actual examples as an expat living here (sorry for the length but)....

    1. My daughter was born over here last November. We dual tracked both NHS and our private insurance. In a nutshell, I would probably be divorced if we would have went to the NHS for delivery. Delivery would be from a midwife, unless a problem occurred. Not from an OBY you've selected, got to know, and been going to for the last 9 months. Well there was a problem and my wife had some serious bleeding and our OBY was there and solved the problem. If we would have been at a NHS hospital, we would have had some random person come in who did not know us (or us them) from Adam. At the NHS, you can’t stay with your wife past 9 pm until the next morning. Not acceptable to me. We didn’t know anyone here, our family is in the states, and you want my wife to spend the night alone with our (first) newborn…nope. Private or semi private rooms are hard to get. Wife would have been in a room, separated with curtains, with possibly six other ladies and their newborns (if my wife thought she might get some sleep, well she could forget it now). Some of the local ladies we met through pre-natal classes went through this, and hauled ass out of the hospital as soon as they possibly could.

    Private hospital…own room, roll out bed for me, room service for me, and nursery for the baby so we could get a few ours of sleep at night. That was huge as my wife had a transfusion and was shattered. Stayed for 4 days and then back to the house. The bad thing was the hospital was in London. So I shacked us up in a hotel right around the due date, which was expensive, but paid off in spades. We walked 200 yards over to the hospital at 12 am once labour got serious (if it is ever not serious).

    2. Pre and Post natal support from the NHS was very good, (especially post). The Midwives come to your house weekly to check up on you, answer questions, and actually perform some of the blood tests right in your home, inspect your baby, weigh them, etc… Slightly preachy about breast feeding, condescending if you choose to give your kid a bottle of formula or two in the early days. But not overly so but enough to annoy me a bit.

    3. Same daughter had a fever about a month ago. Good thing...doctor came to our house at 9:00 pm and checked her out. Bad thing…I think he was not worth a shit. Pump her full of tami-flu was the answer (no other symptoms what so ever). Went to our NHS paediatric doctor the next day and she said no, I would not have given her that. So it’s a mixed bag. We called our old US doctor….they would not recommend nor have they recommended tami-flu for under 1’s. We did not give here the tami-flu and she was fine the next day.

    4. My daughter had exema fairly bad. NHS kept pushing normal creams, over the counter stuff etc… It did not work. After about two months with my daughter looking like a reptile, we were back in the US for a trip home and went to our doctor there. Here...use this cream and this prescription…gone in two days! I am not one to over medicate, but there seems a push, almost too far, to not seek the ‘medical’ solution. In my daughter’s case, they should have done something sooner and shame on me for not pushing for it harder.

    4. I have had decent experience with my GP at the NHS. Responsive, for the most part able to book something on short notice. Seems competent and helped me get over a bad chest thing. Did my blood work at no cost. My wife has had the same with here GP.

    5. Sans the exema/tami-flu experience, the paediatric care has been fairly good and I like our doctor.

    I am not saying flush the NHS. There are some good things. You do hear other horror stories over here, mainly related to more serious operations. If I needed a major operation or if we had another child over here, I would say overall, I would rather fly back to the US to have it done or be on private insurance.

    I have only been here about 17 months, but these were my experiences for what they are worth.
  3. Martin-in-Nashville

    Martin-in-Nashville New Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Smyrna TN
    Well having been born and lived in England most of my life (Only been stateside for the past 7 years) I can only say good things about the NHS (National Health Service) my only concern was waiting time for Non emrgency operations, I could always get to see a doctor same day, always seen in an emergency and have had several operations all with good results.

    My only concern is how is the health care proposed going to be funded here, in the UK you pay whats called National Insurance that funds the NHS and when I last worked in the UK 7 years ago I was paying about $200 a month.

    There are Private health care plans in the UK but are they can be expensive althou some companies pay for it as whats called a "Perk" for the job your doing, Unfortunately, if you take out private health Insurance yourself you still have to pay your National Insurance as well, so theres not an option to drop it.

    A few years ago GP's had budgets put on them so they can pick and choose who they want as a patient, unfortunately some patients got dropped by their GP Because they became too much of a risk (the elderly comes to mind) and there was an outrage, Im not sure if that's now settled or died down yet?

    Overall I like the NHS But I also like the health Insurance here having said that I have been out of work since last November without Health Insurance so have No coverage right now, with the NHS your covered whether your in work or not.

    And just as a footnote for FFC24 im neither a leftest or Righest and the NHS Is NOT Evil nor scary, you voted for change and this is it I guess?
  4. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    How about hearing from our Canadian friends too?

    andyns, you around and willing to share?
  5. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    if you're interested in how government run health care operates in the United States, ... .

    I've been part of a government run system for more than 45 years now. Here's what I've found:

    1. I've never been denied health care because of a pre-existing condition.
    2. I've never had excessive medication perscribed because the doctor gets a kick-back from the drug companies.
    3. I've had two major surgeries during that 45 years, and the only time I had to wait was when I had to wait for my surgeon to return from his tour in Afghanistan.
    4. During my wife's recent surgery, I watched with interest as her indocrinologist worked with her surgeon without ANY red tape involved. I was also impressed when her allergist contacted me and asked to be on her "status call list" because, "She's my patient too, and I'm concerned."
    5. Even when 100% of a perscription is paid for, my doctors always look for the best/least expensive option.

    Are there places where coverage doesn't extend as far as other plans? Yes, my wife's Lasik surgery wasn't covered. We just upgraded our dental coverage, but it still doesn't cover as much as the plan I had with a civilian employer from '94-'98.

    However, I had two years of pre-operative coverage on my knees, went through two rounds of very expensive hyalgin injections, had both knees replaced at the same time, had four days post-surgery and then two weeks of rehab, and -- to date -- four follow-up appointments. I think I spent about 75 bucks out of pocket for the whole shebang.

    And, over 45 years and hundreds of doctors and dentists, I only had one or two bad experiences.

    There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who have government-run medical care, and this is nothing new. The myth of the uncaring, ineffective government getting between the doctor and the patient is just that -- a myth. My experience is not unique and it's not even remarkable. And I tell you this, I'd much rather have my doctor determining what I need than having an insurance company do so -- as is usually the case with friends and relatives who have private plans. And I'm not even going to mention the almost 30 percent of employed Texans who have no medical insurance.

    I believe that a public option is necessary to keep the private plans honest and cost effective/efficient. I don't think that government-run health care should be mandatory, but I also don't think that one mega insurance trust should control health care.

    Here's the joke about the whole "socialized medicine" argument. It's not the government that wants to resist competition, it's "the private sector" that is scared to death of it.

    my last words on this subject.
  6. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Maybe you'll get another Brit if I bump this thread.

    However, I lived in England and used their system. I had my first child there. Unlike Sully and his wife, I did not supplement the NHS care with private insurance, and what I experienced as a result would be a rude awakening for most Amercian women. Here are the reasons why:

    My prenatal care included no blood tests for downs syndrome, spina bidfida, and the other two things (i forget what they are) they test for here in the states. I also was given no test for gestational diabetes or aids. All of these tests I had here in the States for the birth of my second child.

    My prenatal care also did not include any internal exams. These are done routinely in the US to identify preterm problems and to determine how close a woman is to delivery.

    My prenatal care was shared between one doctor and three midwives. A lot of different people for not much.

    We were given birthing classes, which were nice except for one thing. They tried to brainwash us into not having an epidural. They showed us a movie in which a women talked about how proud she was of herself for having a natural childbirth. I have to imagine this was to keep the cost of deliveries down. As it happens, I had a natural delivery and feel it makes me no better than someone who did not, especially compared to those who have difficult and painful deliveries.

    Once I was admitted to the hospital for delivery I was put in a huge room with with about 10 other women in the early stages of labor. In the US you would be put in your own room. No one examined me to see how I was progressing, but they did keep asking me how I was progressing and if I needed pain medication. I wanted to say "how the hell do I know this is my first baby", but didnt.

    At 8pm they told my husband he had to go home. There was a snow storm outside so I said I was concerned he would miss the birth of our child if he left. They still said he had to go. Luckily, the nurse noticed I was in pain and said that she better examine me. The exam showed that not only was I in full blown labor but was ready to deliver. They wisked me down a long long hallway to a delivery room and within 15 minutes, my son was born. ( A good 30 minutes after they had told my husband to leave).

    Also, the midwives who oversaw the birth changed shifts right in the middle of the delivery - I kid you not. And I had never seen either of these midwives during my entire pregnancy.

    Post delivery, my son and I recovered in a room with about five other women. There was always a baby crying so it was impossible to get any sleep. And again that person was walking around asking everyone if they needed pain medication (this doesnt happen in the US). Even though I wasnt in pain, I finally said yes so she would stop coming 'round. Next thing I know I am waking up from a nice sleep wondering why someone wont stop their baby from crying. Then the fog clears and I realize it's my son who's screaming. Wonder how long that was going on before I awoke from my drug induced stupor.

    While it may sound like I am bashing the NHS, I am not. This is merely the truth. My care was completely adequate for what was judged to be a low risk pregnancy. All I know is that there would be some serious bitching if this was the standard of care for a pregnancy here in the States.

    Like Sully said, the NHS's post natal care of the mother and child once they have left the hospital is excellent. Sully already described it so I wont, but I am certain that there is none better anywhere in the world. It is far superior to the US in several ways.

    I actually think we should have a system like the NHS. I think basic health care is as much of a right as a basic education. But basic is the key word here. That means no expensive specialists, no knee surgeries because you want to run marathons again, no unnecessary scans, no lasik (sp?), etc. Just a basic internist that you pick and trust.
  7. GaryBarnettFanClub

    GaryBarnettFanClub New Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey
    The NHS offers proportionate care to meet health needs. Theie emergency care is excellent. In the UK if you are in a private hospital and it goes wrong they transfer out to NHS as they have the staff and experience to deal with it.

    I noted from Mo's post she was not screened for Downs. This was standard when my kids were born (1990's). Downs was only screened if there was an increased risk as it was an invasive process that could damage the foetus.

    Why you do get with the NHS is difference from one area to the next. My experience of NHS treatment is that the local hospital provides outstanding maternity cover. My sister was recently unwell and spent 6 weeks in hospital in anti-natal care where she had a private room and outstanding provision.

    Opperations that are non-life threating take months, but where there is any risk the NHS is quick to act mostly. A few years ago I went from seeing my doctor to having an opperation within 3 weeks due to a scare - at times the care is a little impersonal, but I cannot fault the quality.

    I have private healthcare these days and mostly you see the same consultants and have the same treatments, the only difference is that on private you get a nice cup of tea while you wait and your appointment is on time - oh and for mionr injuries it will be done in 1 week rather than 6 months.

    The only real issues I have with the NHS is care of the elderly and the hughly inefficent systems that run the largest employer in the UK and in the top 5 in the world.
  8. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    It is a simple blood test. If the blood test shows an increased risk then it is the individuals choice as to whether or not they want to have an amnio, which is invasive, but isnt going to damage the fetus unless a drunk is performing.
  9. GaryBarnettFanClub

    GaryBarnettFanClub New Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey
    Hi Mo,

    The amnio increases the risk of miscarrace - the NHS still uses 1 in 200 as the incident rate - although modern studies disagree with this. This is still used to determine if a foetus has Downs. All other tests indicate and suggest if this is required.

    Ultrasound is used to flag issues and has been shown to be as reliable as most cheap blood testing. If the operator is concerned then further tests are carried out.

    There are other non-invasive tests that are accurate, but also very expensive. These are not available in the UK under NHS guideline but can be carried out privately.
  10. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Yes, this is my understanding too.

    Hi Stu, good to have you drop in again
  11. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    good discussion, didnt need me to weigh in until the views got expressed.

    However, the upshot is that the input is MOSTLY anecdotal. And that doesnt really carry much weight; the important data on the various systems is outside the 'personal experience' box. Even if most of the text supported my position that we dont want the state to manage healthcare, it wouldnt mean much.

    It's statistics that tell the stories.

    * survival rate after cancer diagnosis

    * wait period for breast/prostate surgery {TO age 65}after cancer diagnosis

    * survival rate for heart disease {TO age 65} after diagnosis

    * wait period for quality of life surgery {TO age 65} {eg hip replacement}

    * incidence of hospital contracted diseases {eg staph} per patient capita

    * graduation and election of new Primary Care Physicians

    * ability of patient to gain remuneration for malpractice
    - are providers allowed to be sued, by patients, for gross mistakes

    If anyone has good sources for these data points, I'd like to know it.

    The WHO has some that seem to buttress most of my concerns.. there may be others.

    To reiterate, there's no doubt something must be done or our system will go bellyup due to demand and expense, the question is what will happen IF we 'progress' to a single payer system.
  12. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    And I still believe that looking at European systems and Canadian systems may be enlightening, but it ignores the fact that we have had a huge government-run health care system in the United States for several generations.

    I know that there has to be data available on

    --those active duty members, family members, and retirees who are part of the military health care system.
    --those individuals who receive the majority of their health care through the Veterans Administration
    --those federal and state employees and families whose health care system is administered by the government
    --those individuals covered by Medicare for the last generation plus.

    I'm still abashed at the notion that we in the United States have no government-run system, that it's totally alien to us, and that there's no indication that it could ever work here. I'm also stunned by the idea that a government-run health care system cannot co-exist with a private system, since these systems have been co-existing for a very, very, very long time. Of course, THAT's the truth, and the overwhelming majority of rocks being thrown at "Obama-Care" are purposeful misrepresentations if not outright lies.

    Meanwhile, those conservatives who are more interested in governing and problem-solving than doing everything possible to ensure that this president fails at everything he tries, are [finally?] expressing exasperation over the fact that "the conservative point of view" as expressed by Beck and Limbaugh and O'Reilly and their addle-pated followers, is marginalizing their concerns.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32668052/ns ... ork_times/

  13. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    A bit off-topic because it is Australia, but it shows you the type of ridiculous recommendations that can come from government.

    Doctors told to drink coffee



  14. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Yeah, well me too. Also how that's used as example!

    For instance, politicians who point to them as not exactly success stories, yet claim the answer is MORE OF! But it's easy when your mindset is the same as 'The economy is bad, we have to raise taxes.'

    How about older folks who should know better, claiming that a government option wont kill off any efficiencies CURRENTLY existing in the private sector yet the proposed language specifically states 'you can keep your plan UNTIL ANYTHING CHANGES...!'

    How about keeping it honest, Don?!

    And while we're at it... let's name a few of those insurance companies who are getting fat bloated profits on private health premiums! I think the bottom line would indicate what the REAL message is... like our Surgeon General believes... 'there should be no profit at all in Health Care!'

    - - - -- - -
    FWIW: I currently have a niece in a residency program at a leading university.. her tenth year in academia.. her near term career goal:

    "employment in a government medical advisory capacity"

    Shit you not! Do I need say who she voted for?
    - - - -- - -

    - Still Partisan, Still Paranoid... just tending to lie back and Smirk More.
  15. sullytex

    sullytex Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Mo my wife was far enough along where she had received all the tests you mention above in the US before she moved over to join me. Given my wife's age, we did an amnio as well.

    Your experience (as Petty rightly points out) is anecdoctal, but sounds very similar to just about all the ladies in my wife's circle of friends she met while doing the pre-natal classes who went to the NHS. You nailed it on the head regarding the epidural...massive pressure to go natural, in a birthing pool (a girl we knew went in and one minute later jumped out soaking wet and ran down the hall completely freaking naked screaming for an epidural as husband ran after her...a very true (and to me slightly hilarious) story, or at home (a guy at work had a disaster doing this and almost lost the baby because the mid-wife did not want to call the ambulance). Fine for some...but not us.

    I am with you, not trying to bash the NHS, but state what happened to us and not quote heresay, but experiences from people that went through the process when we did. Folks we have dinner with.

    No system is perfect. The last major surgery I had about 3 years ago in the US was a failure (repairing a fairly severe seperated shoulder. Now I've got a 3 inch scar, a large bump, and my shoulder still hangs freely off my body, sweet!).
  16. dtwondough

    dtwondough New Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    really spenser? you're comparing Sarah Palin's childhood healthcare, which she had no control over, to her views today? From your past posts, I thought you had more intelligence then that.
  17. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Tsk.. tsk. Reading is FUN-da-mental, critical reading and analysis.. more so!

    Politico: 'OOOps!'

    Should I post about the NHS patient died of thirst in ward? The woman diagnosed with Irritable Bowel, till just a few hours before she gave birth?
    ...nahh... old shit!
  18. sullytex

    sullytex Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Very ironic to see this thread had just been bumped. I Just got back from the NHS after 14 hours there with my little girl and wife. My daughter had severe breathing problems in the middle of the night but is going to be ok. Scared the shit out of me and my wife. Not going to get into the long and short of it, I prefer the care I've received in the US historically.

    However, I will give one example from today (could use several): Right now, my wife and daughter are sitting in a bull pen with several other families (4 when I left, could be up to 6), we were forbidden to close the curtains for just an ounce of privacy, freaking bells and alarms are going off....for like forever, TVs turned up, loud talking, other kids moaning/complaining (absolutely not their fault, but setting the scene), etc, etc, etc. I just know neither are going to get any rest tonight (and got virtually zero today and last night) and they are freaking exhausted.

    There were free single rooms open in the vicinity and I asked if I could take my daughter (15 months) in to just to let her take a nap as there was no way she was going to fall asleep in that crazy ass environment. Nope was the answer. Why? Shite reasons given. Basically this is the way it is and everybody had to deal with this. Its their (NHS) discretion to say who can use those private rooms (at least 5-6 were open then and when I left). No other private or even semi-private rooms available, period. Not an option (I could get more privacy taking a shit at the Cottage). I could just imagine if one of my brothers was sleeping next to them, snoring so loud the walls would shake. The sad thing is, when they get my daughter up to give her her medicine tonight at 3 am, she will take it a step further and is going to blow the walls out and wake up EVERYBODY in the wing. Thats just bullshit for all. A well rested patient and mom (in this case) are a huge part of the equation and treatment.

    I hate to write some of the above as good people work there (for the most part) and I think my little girl overall received decent care for treating her direct symptoms. And I know there is a large part of the world that would absolutely kill for the service we had today. It just plain falls short of my expectations as a customer (i.e. taxpayer). I will be back in the US is around 50 days. It will be interesting to see how things compare, especially now that I have a child (before her, I thought duct tape was comparable in terms of medical usefulness as penicillin!).

    Off to bed for a couple hours and back to the NHS. Sorry for the mini/exhausted rant. I feel better, I guess. Not a big fan of mediocrity, especially when it come to caring for my family.
  19. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Thanks Sully for the update of your NHS experience. A raw post but that's a good way of documenting the reality of a national health care system. If Americans want this they better get used to it. The insured coverage that many Americans have grown accustomed to is way way too expensive to extend to everyone. Sacrifices have to be made or we will be bankrupt is less than five years.

    I hope your daughter is feeling better soon and that everyone gets some sleep. Take care of each other.
  20. sullytex

    sullytex Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for the kind words. Maggie is back to normal, smiling and laughing and back speaking in a strange tounge that a border guard in Vienna told me was German two weeks ago. :D

    She is going to be discharged in around 2 hours.

    Interesting article in the Times on Sunday. Read some of the comments when you are done, some do a decent job argueing points on both sides of the NHS.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 052606.ece
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